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Parshas Vayishlach

Filters

By Rabbi Label Lam

And Yaakov sent angels in front of him to Eisav his brother to the land of Seir to the field of Edom. And he commanded them saying; "So you shall say to my master to Eisav; So says Yaakov your servant; “I have lived with Lavan and tarried till now and I have oxen and donkeys and sheep and servants and maid servants and I am sending to my master to find grace in your eyes…”(Breishis 32:3-5)

And Yaakov sent angels: Real angels! (Rashi)

It’s quite remarkable that Yaakov had such control over the angelic world that he could direct them to represent him and speak on his behalf. Not many people who have walked on this planet can make such a claim. It’s hard enough for us to have control over our own actions, words, thoughts, and emotions. Yaakov must have been a master of his world. The truth is that we too produce angels daily and constantly.

The Nefesh HaChaim writes; “Every Jewish person should not say in his heart, heaven forfend, ‘what am I and what impact do my lowly deeds have in the world?’ Rather, he should understand that every minute detail of his actions, and his speech, and his thoughts, each and every moment is not lost! How powerful are his actions and very great and lofty too, for everyone according to the root of his soul, to impact and effect in the highest of heights, and the purest of lights. In truth, a man who is wise and understands this clearly, his heart will tremble within him a great shuddering when he considers his actions that are not good and how far they reach to destroy and ruin with even a slight misstep…”

Everyone has power to release angels, extraordinarily productive and destructive too! The Sefas Emes says that these are the angels sent by Yaakov, and that according to the Zohar there are angels created from both the Yetzer Hora and the Yetzer Tov! He states that the angels generated from the Yetzer Hora can have more protective powers than those created from the Yetzer Tov!

A person might just be sent into a panic mode with the power of the information provided here. After all, one the things a person is not save from each day, the Talmud tells us, is “bad thoughts”. What’s a person to do?!

Here is an important life-saving point. Imagine for a moment a player for one of the famous sports teams is standing in his position, let’s say, center fielder for the Yankees. A fan throws a Frisbee onto the field and he jogs over casually to toss it back into the stands so no one will stumble on it. Nobody will fault him for this Frisbee toss. However, if he starts to have a catch with the left fielder, and during live game time, he’s a candidate for bench warming.

It was once explained to me by a great person, that just as there are arenas, and stages by which things come into reality, through “thought, “speech” and “action”,so too in the world of thought there are levels, such as “the “thought of thought”, the “speech of thought” and, the “action of thought”.The same goes for the realm of speech and action as well. “I’ll spare you.

Based on this we can understand a very important question. “What is the difference between crazy people and everybody else?” The answer is simple! Filters!

We don’t say everything we think! We don’t even develop every thought that “pops up” on the screen of our mind. We have filters. Once something is halted at the “thought of thought” and is prevented from entering the “speech of thought” or the “action of thought”, we are then spared from its harmful effects. However, a crazy person has a broken filter.

He may say whatever he thinks. Even more dangerously he can act on a wild unscreened thought. When we hear about the depraved behavior of a lunatic letting loose his fury, we can understand well that that what lost before his sanity, was his filters.


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 

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